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Thread: America - Perception vs Reality

  1. #21
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    Re: Follow Up

    Namaste Believer ji,
    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Most times one does not choose the area they live in, the area chooses them.
    With respect, I can't agree with you there. At least,, not when it comes to living on this continent. Most of the time, we have plenty of choice even when we don't want to recognise it.
    But I feel that certain individuals get into trouble because of their habits from the old country and their lack of understanding/embracing the traditional American values. In this case "looking" is what seems to have done it for the elderly man in question. He is walking in the neighborhood and looking towards open garages. This "looking" is so natural to people in India but over here, it scares people into believing that someone is casing their garage/home for a possible robbery.
    Sadly, again, I can't agree. The problem was not what he was doing. If it were an elderly white man, even someone no one recognised, I very much doubt the authorities would have been called at all. People probably wouldn't have looked at him twice. There is nothing wrong with walking along a street in any part of this country and looking around at the neighborhood. There is no part of what this gentleman did that was counter to any "American Values", either in general or local. He is in no way responsible for the attack that injured him. That responsibility falls to the greater community and law enforcement of the area he was visiting/living in.
    I wish there was a course for the new comers to teach them what is acceptable social behavior and what is not; because doing non acceptable things can land someone into hot water very quickly.
    How do you teach people to not use their eyes when walking around? I'm not saying there aren't some situations where such a thing wouldn't help, but when it comes to blatant racism in a known hotbed for racism, then it can be very hard to predict what the next trigger will be, because it has nothing really to do with correct social behavior or incorrect. This is blaming the victim, even if only partly.

    Police academies across the US teach assessment of situations, approach and modulation of response. What happened in this kid's mind, we may never know. But unless he was paying absolutely no attention, he was indeed equipped with the correct skills in the academy. You are kind to give him some benefit of the doubt, but even if he had some prior untreated trauma and just snapped at a bad time, as the authority figure he bears a lot of responsibility here.

    It's a sad situation all around, agreed, and a sadly common picture in this country recently. I never realised until this year how bad it still is. I hope we start to finally address it, now it's looking the nation in the face.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  2. #22

    Re: America - Perception vs Reality

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    Recently, I was in the state of Colorado on a work related trip where I saw the American ingenuity and business ideas at its best. The geniuses I met changed my generic impression of Americans being usually lazy and not so smart when it comes to work.

    All of this made me have a deeper thought about the the american people and I realize now why they are number one in so many things that they do. It is the hardworking, innovative, business minded ness of the people along with the pride of being Americans that has made America the superpower of the world. America might really truly be the land of opportunity.
    Namaste Satay,

    No, they are number one in what they do at the top because they have learned the U-Turn technique. They have been learning from the Indians, YOUR people, making the "new" knowledge (which is new to the Europeans, but has been known to Indians for many thousands of years (do you realize that the VAST majority of Saṃskṛta manuscripts have not been translated to ANY European languages?)) fit their Western framework, discarding the unpalatable remainder, and then DELETING YOU as the source of this knowledge. They think of people like Henry David Thoreau, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, etc. as being creative people, when in fact, they were influenced by the learning of the Vedas, without which, they would not have done what they did with just the Western base of knowledge available to them.

    Again, what they do is learn from the Indians, make what is usable fit the Western framework, reject the rest, and delete the source from whence it came, before marketing it to Americans (and others) as American innovations. You have got to remember that the nine digits plus the zero, astronomy, metallurgy for Damascus steel, navigation, etc. all came from YOUR ancestors. Without this, America would not be where it is today.

    Praṇāma

  3. #23
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    Re: Follow Up

    Namaste Aanandini,

    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    With respect, I can't agree with you there. At least,, not when it comes to living on this continent. Most of the time, we have plenty of choice even when we don't want to recognise it.
    I have two issues with this paragraph of your post. The first one, just because you live in a 'New England' state, does not give you the liberty to follow the English spelling for the word recogniZe.

    Secondly, a hamburger flipper can find a job anywhere, but when you get boxed in with certain specialities, and you as a minority member with all the warts may not always be the employer's first choice, your options may become very limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    Sadly, again, I can't agree. The problem was not what he was doing. If it were an elderly white man, even someone no one recognised, I very much doubt the authorities would have been called at all. People probably wouldn't have looked at him twice. There is nothing wrong with walking along a street in any part of this country and looking around at the neighborhood.
    There is never a moment when I am not aware of the fact that after everything is said and done, I am an outsider and will remain one till the day I die. I have as much liberty as the majority of inhabitants of this great land will allow me; the constitution notwithstanding. "...with liberty and justice for all" looks good on paper, but I can have only as much liberty as my neighbors/co-workers/population at large will allow me and I can have as much justice as I can afford to pay for. Please cast aside those adealistic slogans and look at the reality. I wish you could walk in my shoes just for a day to realize what I am trying to say; the scenery will be quite different; but alas, that will not be possible. There is everything wrong with walking around your neighborhood in certain areas of the country and gawking into open garages if you are not of the right color. It creates fear, it creates suspicion among the homeowners and there is a price to pay for that. I would not dare to challenge my right to walk in certain neighborhoods at the risk of having my neck or spine messed up for the rest of my life. There are boundaries to my liberty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    I never realised until this year how bad it still is. I hope we start to finally address it, now it's looking the nation in the face.
    It has always looked the 'nation in the face'; we just observe it, talk about it for a few days, put it behind us and move on. Remember Rodney King in LA? Look at some of the footage from the civil rights movement. Not much has changed in terms of real attitudes. In the south people don't deny it; in the north people have the same attitudes but they deny it and live on. I wish you could spend some time thinking about the whole issue. Debate is good but without deep comprehension of differing views, we just regurgitate our established views.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 15 October 2015 at 11:09 AM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Follow Up

    Namaste Believerji,

    My apologies for the long delay in my reply.
    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    I have two issues with this paragraph of your post. The first one, just because you live in a 'New England' state, does not give you the liberty to follow the English spelling for the word recogniZe.
    Perhaps not, however, several years spent living in the UK, 2 of them in public school, does. Because of this I tend to slip into British spellings, and sometimes phrasings. I usually don't catch it unless there's an active spell checker on the application I'm using, for instance my business email, which checks before I send. But it's also fair to say I don't care to check more often than not. The fact is, English was born as a language in the UK, it's their language. Just because many founding settlers here came from there and chose to keep that language as the national language doesn't give us the right to bastardize it to our hearts' content. Their spelling is the correct spelling 99% of the time, regardless of how people in the US want to spell a word and regardless of them no longer having governmental or protectorate authority here. The only exception I can think of offhand is Aluminum vs Aluminium. According to western science, that element was discovered and named by an American, so the word originated here, so the US spelling and pronunciation is correct.

    Secondly, a hamburger flipper can find a job anywhere, but when you get boxed in with certain specialties, and you as a minority member with all the warts may not always be the employer's first choice, your options may become very limited.
    My, how unexpectedly bourgeoisie. What's the problem with 'flipping burgers', so to speak? You are truly only limited by the corners you box yourself into. It may take more time and persistence, it may take some risks sometimes, but nothing is impossible. I know many people, of various ethnicities and gender identifications, who have made drastic changes in their careers at least once in their lives, by concerted effort. They weren't lucky, they were heard-headed hard-nosed and persistent. They made arguments for their skill sets' effective application in other areas, went to trainings and certifications and sometimes worked menial and extra jobs until it happened. You have to be open minded and willing to make it happen, it doesn't 'just happen' for anyone - not even most of the racially privileged in this country. Heck, I know people who dragged themselves out of base poverty in other countries and took great risk to come here, taught themselves English, worked to get citizenship and financial aid for school and are now highly successful people living good and happy lives. A person is only as boxed in as they allow themselves to become, I see that every day.

    There is never a moment when I am not aware of the fact that after everything is said and done, I am an outsider and will remain one till the day I die. I have as much liberty as the majority of inhabitants of this great land will allow me; the constitution notwithstanding. "...with liberty and justice for all" looks good on paper, but I can have only as much liberty as my neighbors/co-workers/population at large will allow me and I can have as much justice as I can afford to pay for. Please cast aside those adealistic slogans and look at the reality. I wish you could walk in my shoes just for a day to realize what I am trying to say; the scenery will be quite different; but alas, that will not be possible. There is everything wrong with walking around your neighborhood in certain areas of the country and gawking into open garages if you are not of the right color. It creates fear, it creates suspicion among the homeowners and there is a price to pay for that. I would not dare to challenge my right to walk in certain neighborhoods at the risk of having my neck or spine messed up for the rest of my life. There are boundaries to my liberty.
    I am aware that when it comes to race in this country, the shade of my skin, hair and eyes puts me among the privileged. You know I can't walk in your shoes in this life, it's not possible for me. Though I hope you believe me that if I could, I certainly would. Because of this there is not a whole lot I can say that isn't coming from a place of privilege, so its really up to you how you want to hear what I'm saying.

    I'm not an idealist, though I'm kind of flattered you think I have that much of a rosy outlook. I may not have to worry about racism in this country, but please don't think I've never been put in a position of discrimination, or even in positions of prejudice either here in the US or elsewhere, where my own safety has been in question. I most certainly have, and I can use such situations to empathize and understand the situations and experiences of others. On the level of a single life, no one has true and full liberty and very few ever have justice, not in this country and not in any other. The US is not even one of the better first world countries for liberty and justice, though it seems a lot of people still seem to think we are. All we can ever do is attempt to try and keep improving until the day comes that maybe we come close to that promise on paper. And what I had meant to say before was that I has once thought at least parts of this country were coming a little closer to that than it now appears we ever were - not that it had ever yet been achieved and certainly not on a national scale.

    You aren't the first to relate the "At least in the South they're 'refreshingly' open about it and in the north they hide it" thing. What bothers me is this idea that any racism is refreshing at all. Regardless. The fact is, there are most definitely areas of the country where your safety, being an immigrant and being dark complexioned, is much better guaranteed than in others. It's not a 100% to nothing ratio, I never said it was, but simple facts are facts. Alabama is one of the worst places you can live if you aren't white. The Northeast? Most of it really isn't so bad.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/5...-United-States
    Where there is racism here, yes it is quieter. Where most discrimination happens up here is is much quieter. But we are also among some of the most socially progressive states in the country, have some of the best universities and some of the most diverse communities in the country as well. These are facts. We are leaders in industry, there are plenty of engineering jobs up here for people looking, and plenty of other science focused industry for those interested in making a change of career. And that's just the Northeast. There are tons of places around the country that focus in engineering as well.

    It's not idealistic to say you could walk around the suburbs here, looking at the scenery and neighborhoods, and never have anyone look at you twice. How do I know this? Because I see it every day. There are large and growing communities here from India, Africa, China, Japan and the middle east. People of all ages, shades and shapes talk long walks here all the time. Maybe someday you'll come and visit and take a few too.
    It has always looked the 'nation in the face'; we just observe it, talk about it for a few days, put it behind us and move on. Remember Rodney King in LA? Look at some of the footage from the civil rights movement. Not much has changed in terms of real attitudes. In the south people don't deny it; in the north people have the same attitudes but they deny it and live on.
    I do remember Rodney King, and I remember the LA Riots. There's a very big difference between then and now: Technology. I disagree that the issue has always 'looked the nation in the face', though its true that up until recently it's always been observe and move on. I don't even know if things will continue to stay in the public view even with technology, considering the paltry attention span most of us have now. However, now that everyone and their brother has a camera - and usually a good one - and a direct link to the internet, bigots are getting away with less and information is getting out more. It's no longer 'he-said-she-said', and cops getting away with things simply because they're cops. Now everyone has footage and pictures and it goes viral fast. Because of this, I think that now these things are going to stay in the public eye. Once the time comes that it would normally subside and attention diverts elsewhere, elsewhere will become another story of a crime based on race or gender or what-have-you, and it will not go away until it is finally dealt with.

    Maybe that's idealist. I think it's more realist. People have to look at what's in their faces, and most people have their faces in their mobile devices today. It just is.
    I wish you could spend some time thinking about the whole issue. Debate is good but without deep comprehension of differing views, we just regurgitate our established views.
    What makes you think I haven't? The fact that you don't agree with me? Or that I'm a white american girl? Really think about that before you answer. My views are my views because of my experiences, same as why you have yours. I may not have lived through the civil rights movement in this country, by I have family who did and who participated and tell stories - and, (you're gonna laugh, I know), I have studied it in school. I am certainly culturally programmed, but I recognize that, and anyway everyone is. So are you.

    The subject we are discussing is level of racism in different areas and apparently throughout the recent history of the US. That certainly has differing views depending on the perspective - which I admitted in prior posts I was more blind to than I realized until recently. However on the subject of racism itself, I see no differing views. And on the subject of Civil Rights, that goes beyond just race and I don't think most aware people think that we're even close to the end of the tunnel on that.

    If any part of this has come across as vehement, preachy or otherwise rude, my apologies. Please forgive and do not read it that way, as it was not the tone in which I was writing.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  5. #25
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    Re: Follow Up

    Namaste,

    Update: The police officer who violently pushed an unfortunate old Indian soul to the ground in Alabama was tried three times and acquitted all three times,

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35309224

    So, don't go walking around in Huntsville neighborhoods.

    Pranam.

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